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By Chance Alone

A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz
Written by: Max Eisen
Narrated by: Douglas E. Hughes
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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Max Eisen

About the Author

Max Eisen is a Hungarian Jew who was deported to Auschwitz in the spring of 1944. He is a passionate speaker and educator who volunteers at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in Toronto. He currently resides in Toronto with his wife, Ivy.

Douglas E. Hughes

About the Narrator

Douglas E. Hughes has been an actor, playwright, and voice artist for the past 40 years. He spent 13 seasons at the Shaw Festival, another three at Stratford, and has worked in theatres across this country and in the U.S.

With his writing partner, Marcia Kash, Hughes has written five plays — all published by Samuel French, Inc. — which have had more than 200 productions in over a dozen countries around the world, and have been translated into eight languages. Hughes and Kash are currently at work on their sixth collaborative effort, a play called Deadline. Doug has also penned a yet-to-be-published novel of his own — a comedy-thriller entitled The Poor Player.

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  • DD
  • 2019-07-25

Heartbreaking

A memoir that needed to be published. Our world must never forget nor deny the horrors that were perpetuated on the Jewish people of the world. Thank you for being so bare to share your life story with new generations.

3 people found this helpful

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  • JCA
  • 2020-01-13

I will never complain about my life again!

Just when you think your life is hard....you need to listen to this book. Such a powerful story - what this young man had to endure is beyond comprehension. Heartbreaking but uplifting - to hear how one person can endure such hardship but yet survive and thrive. Worth a listen!

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Must listen

An incredible story of resilience and human recovery. Eisen is one of the last generation of Jews who suffered unspeakable violence during the Hitler years and has made it his mission to share his story so we don't forget. Unbelievable performance. listen to him.

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Beautiful storytelling

Wonderful storytelling that transports to you a different time and place. It is an amazing personal story with tragedy and triumph.

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Amazing story.

Amazing story, bravely told and wonderfully narrated. A story that will linger in your mind.

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PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS BOOK.

This book is not only shocking, emotional and informative but necessary and absolutely shaping. To say that I recommend this book does not do justice the impact that this book has had on me and the now deep seeded feeling that everyone should be as fortunate as I have been in having this kind of transformative listen. 10/10, I will be recommending this book. Thank you Canada Reads for the recommendation.

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What a story..

I really enjoyed this book. I really felt the emotion of the story through the author's writing and the reading performance. I am truly amazed at what Max overcame and at his tenacity to tell his story. Worth a listen.

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More than a Nazi story

I have read many good Holocaust accounts. What sets this one apart is that the camps are only a part of the story of struggle. You are taken from the preface of a young boy's family setting into the horror of the camps, to liberation, life as a young man alone in an antibellum Europe still under marshal reconstruction, to further subjugation by occupying forces, then to a final gambit seeking a new life of freedom. All is done in the voice of a story teller sitting in the living room around the fire.

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Max Eisen hits home

This true story hits home with me as I have Hungarian speaking family in Slovakia, in Kosice in fact. When you have been to so many of the places he had been and have family on both sides of that boarder you can visualize very clearly. Finding that he is now a Canadian is also different, as most I have previously read did not continue on after the war and bring it on home to Canada and explain how and why we must continue to remember the holocaust and fight, communism, fascism, neo-nazis or any form of anti-semitic or racism happening around the world today. This once again includes Canada! Geddy Lee, Adam Sandler and "The Fonz" as well as Gayle Tannenbaum, a friend in the states I really need to see...you are just a few of our celebrated Jews and please don't forget to watch the movie A Fiddler on the Roof! (order it from your library...it clarifies a lot leading up to the Pogroms!).

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A Truely Remarkable story of endurance.

This story should be shared with everyone. It is hard to imagine such atrocities could be done to others just because of their ethnic differences. I cried and found it hard to sleep after listening to some of Max's difficulties. With each chapter I was hoping for Max to be liberated but his situation went from one hell to another.

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  • Suszanne Guymer
  • 2019-07-17

A must read

Very well written , but the saddest of stories. May we never forget. One very courageous man.

2 people found this helpful